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A Hint of Things to Come

Recently published views emerged from the highly respected sources of Google, et. al., and IBM on progress in the breakthrough technology of quantum computing, and seize our interest with the potential to change how we live our lives. Briefly, Google announced experiential evidence of the reduction in time needed to solve a well-known algorithm from 10,000 years on a classical computer to 200 seconds on a quantum processor, in a Nature article entitled “Quantum supremacy using a programmable superconducting processer”, published on October 23, 2019. The term used by Google scientists for this achievement is “quantum supremacy”, while recognizing the event as a computing milestone. IBM published a blog entitled “On Quantum Supremacy which presented the argument that the classical simulation would only require 2.5 days with great fidelity rather than the 10,000 years cited in paper authored by Google, et. al.


As a business and economics blogger, it was essential to recognize the two viewpoints presented by respected and reliable entities surrounding this emerging topic. Of significance in the economic realm is the understanding that a consideration of whether the comparative classical computing timeframe is 10,000 years or 2.5 days, the leap in speed to 200 seconds demonstrated by the quantum processor must be acknowledged as a game changer. Located outside of the technical realm, one can only speculate as to the impact on daily life of such an unimaginable acceleration in processing speed on the tasks performed during our daily lives. Will the magnitude and availability of solutions presented to everyday problems be such that we transition to a life largely consisting of leisure?

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